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  1. #7
    computer assisted angler hooks's Avatar
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    Re: Deer Hunting for the First Time this Upcoming Season

    Lisaís friend lives in Sacramento and she sent this picture of her back yard.

    Good luck






    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Catch ya later ... hooks

  2. #6
    Senior Member Waterdog's Avatar
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    Re: Deer Hunting for the First Time this Upcoming Season

    If you want to check out D3 take a ride up hwy 80 and exit at Cisco Grove exit about 20 miles before Truckee. Go over highway 80 and turn left/west. In a quarter mile the road ends at a private campground and RV place. Just before you get to the RV place there is a dirt road on the right side. I believe itís called rattle snake rd. but not sure. Take that road and stay on it and you will come to lake Sterling. A beautiful mountain lake. I donít think itís planted any longer but there are still trout in it. If you keep going past Sterling youíll come to Fordyce lake, definitely some trout in there. Youíll need 4wd to continue to Fordyce. Sounds like youíre in good shape you could hike to Fordyce . Iíve walked there many times deer hunting. Itís not a real bad road but you do need 4wd. All this area around there is D3. Drop dead gorgeous country. Iíve shot many deer in that general area.
    On the way into Sterling there is a road to your right. Take that and youíll find various logging roads that go all over. There is a way into the back side of Sterling from that road but I donít know how to explain how to get into the back side. The back side is really pretty and there are trails there that lead to some small ponds that hold trout.
    it would be a good chance to learn the area. A lot of locals go up there on weekends. Camp there overnight and enjoy it. You can camp anywhere you want. It ranges from a little over 7000í to over 8000í. Iím sure there is still some snow up there.
    Hunting, Fishing and Labrador Retrievers and at the end of the day a glass of Buffalo Trace Whiskey- Life is Sweet.

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  4. #5
    Senior Member Waterdog's Avatar
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    Re: Deer Hunting for the First Time this Upcoming Season

    Continued
    Guns - A 308 is a great caliber, I owned and hunted with one for years. Youíll get a lot of opinions on this. But my 2 favorite which are probably the most popular deer rifles in North. America are the .270 and the 30-06. American hunters have argued for over 75 years which one is the best deer rifle. Thereís no winner of that argument. Either one of these rifles can take down North American big game up to the size of an elk. Itís hard for me to choose between them. I own both. The .270 has a very flat trajectory and there are lots of ammo choices out there for it. The 30-06 is probably the most versatile and has more ammo choices than any other hunting rifle. For me the .270 may have the edge only because that was my first deer rifle and I have fond memories. An old timer many years ago told me he liked the 30-06 because he could find ammo for it anywhere and everywhere. Told me once while hunting in Wyoming he had forgot shells. The closest town was 100 miles away. He went to a little gas station in the middle of no where and sure enough they sold 30-06 ammo.
    You donít have to spend big bucks for a rifle. Most all rifles right out of the box shoot accurately whether they are $400 or $4000. Just get a known brand. You might consider a used rifle, you can get some pretty good deals on them.

    Optics - A very complex subject. I suggest you research the net to learn all about optics. There are some great informative articles out there. It would take me hours to discuss optics here.
    I will say that if you are hunting most of California your shots will be under 100 yards. In reality you could get by and do well with a non variable 4X scope. I would however suggest a variable 3X9 scope. Itís much more versatile. Plan to spend more $$$ on a scope than your rifle. Get a good scope, you can always transfer your scope to different rifles. After you read up on rifle scopes then ask more questions.
    Same with binocs, get a good pair what you can afford. I have a pair of Nikons and a pair of Steiners (made in Germany) that I found on sale for around $150. They are great binocs. I had a pair of Zeiss binocs that I paid well over $1000 for but lost them while on a hunt in the Colorado Rockyís. Wonít pay that much again.
    Iíll try to add more a little later.
    Hunting, Fishing and Labrador Retrievers and at the end of the day a glass of Buffalo Trace Whiskey- Life is Sweet.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member dsa2780's Avatar
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    Re: Deer Hunting for the First Time this Upcoming Season

    I appreciate the responses guys. I'll make sure to get into one of the courses soon, looks like Grizzly Island is holding one in the near future. Looking forward to the experience!

  7. #3
    Senior Member Waterdog's Avatar
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    Re: Deer Hunting for the First Time this Upcoming Season

    Iíll take a shot at your question (pun intended). First I wouldnít buy a rifle or optics until you complete the hunter safety course. I use to teach hunter safety and I provided a lot of information about hunting, guns and regulations in addition to safety. Most hunter safety instructors are knowledgeable and you can get a lot of good info. Iíll probably repeat most of what Crestliner said.
    I hunted D3-5 for 20 plus years. The number and quality of deer there have decreased dramatically over the years due in part to poor management. Opening weekend is a complete zoo. I personally wouldnít go near there opening weekend. If you hunt it go a week later and try to go during the week. Far fewer hunters then.
    One of the keys to successful hunt is scouting and learning the area prior to hunting. You canít just walk into a forest you are unfamiliar with and expect to get a deer. Iíd spend at least 2 days pre season scouting. The better you know the area the higher your success rate. Besides youíll see gorgeous country and may discover some great fishing spots while scouting.
    Also I suggest you go out and practice spotting deer. You need to train yourself to spot them. A lot of people can walk by deer 20 yards away and not see them. Itís something that comes with practice and experience.
    There is no average amount of time or distance in hunting. One time in D3 I walked out of camp in the morning and got my deer within 100 yards of camp. When you scout and learn an area youíll learn the best areas to concentrate your hunt on. It may be close or far.
    Ive got an appointment to go to so Iíll come back later and give you some information on rifles and optics and other things.
    Hunting, Fishing and Labrador Retrievers and at the end of the day a glass of Buffalo Trace Whiskey- Life is Sweet.

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  9. #2
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    Re: Deer Hunting for the First Time this Upcoming Season

    Too many variables to answer everything but here is a start. Is D3-5 crowded. YES You can however get away from most of the crowds by learning a few spots and it sounds like you are willing to hike far enough.

    A 308 is about perfect for deer hunting. It is large enough to take a bear or even an elk when shot placement is correct. I highly recommend a 308 for a one gun hunter. Easy to find ammo and relatively mild recoil. No I don't own one but I am not a one gun hunter.

    Optics. The same answer you would give a person buying their first Salmon rod. Buy the best you can afford. You can get by with a $200 scope but a $400 one is going to be way better. Same with binoculars. This is where you should spend the most. You should never search for deer with your scope. Your scope is for shooting, not glassing. There again a $200 set will work but in optics the better binoculars can get up there. I think $400-500 is where they start to get good. If you don't want to get too pricey to start you can still hunt. My first binos cost $30 but that was 50 years ago. I killed a lot of deer with scopes that cost less than $100 but wouldn't recommend it.

    How long is a typical deer hunt??? Good question. Most people hunt a few weekends per year and that can work. If you can spend the time I prefer 3-5 day trips or even longer.

    Now a little advice for a new hunter.
    Glass more than you walk once you think you are in an area that holds deer. What I find is most people just don't see the animals that are there. Animals don't just stand broadside at 50 yards. You need to learn to see an ear at 500 yards or a leg or just some movement. That is where good binoculars are important. I will sometimes only go 1/2 mile from a quad or truck and still see more deer than the guys that hike 5+ miles. Find an area you like and learn it. I think you will do better that way than constantly moving to a new area, I know I do.

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  11. #1
    Senior Member dsa2780's Avatar
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    Deer Hunting for the First Time this Upcoming Season

    Been meaning to get into deer hunting. Grew up in a fishing family, but hunting was never something I was exposed to. I've been doing my share of research on the subject and of course have the 2019 Regulation book that I'm currently researching to make sure everything is done correctly and within all regulation.

    Forgot to mention the obligatory note of, yes Iíll be taking a hunters safety course.

    I don't care about the trophy aspect of it at all, I want to get into deer hunting for the experience of back country hiking/camping and of course getting a sustainable protein source that I know was ethically harvested. I've done plenty of exploring in the D5 zone but have a few friends who say that hunting the D5 zone can be like combat fishing the American River during the heat of salmon season. Any truth to this? I've heard it more than once, so figure it has some truth to it. I figure that it's probably better to learn in a harder zone, than learn in an easy zone, but if you're like running into 100 people in a trip, I can see how that might be hampering.


    What's the average amount of time people spend on hunts? Distance of hikes and such for the average hunter? For example on distance I'm cool with, I recently did 13 miles of hiking on some trails up north around Klamath. I felt like that distance was easy enough. If you're packing out your kill with a friend or two, is it unheard of for people to go longer distance? What's considered long distance from camp for the average California deer hunter?


    This is a loaded subject, so I'm all for loaded answers.

    Thinking of going for a .308, Savage 110. Reviews seem solid, not a bad price. I've read that .308 is overkill, opinions on this? And what the heck defines overkill in hunting terms anyways? I've read things on forums of people using 338 Lapua for deer hunting, I assume this is just for people that want to go for a rifle that has the ability to take a longer range shot? Aside from the cost and weight of those types, why do people seem to prefer smaller rounds? I imagine that it's mostly due to cost and maintenance?

    Optics. What should I be looking for? This is a subject I haven't read too in depth on, but I assume this is arguably going to be where shelling out a bit more coin gets you a better end result.


    Feel free to inject any information to this, as I'm just looking for some pointers on how to get started up with this. Much appreciated.
    Last edited by dsa2780; 07-02-2019 at 07:24 PM.

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